Gallup Poll Finds ‘Nones’ Most Likely to be Pro-Choice

A new Gallup poll finds that people who claim no religious faith — atheists, agnostics, and (annoyingly) people who are “spiritual but not religious” — are most likely to be “pro-choice” and least likely to be “pro-life”:

Americans who profess no religious identity are the most heavily pro-choice, at 80%, with 15% calling themselves pro-life. This group is followed by liberals and Democrats, among whom pro-choicers outnumber pro-lifers by at least 2-1.

We’re in good company. And the list gets scarier the lower you go…

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • DougI

    Pro-life, what an Orwellian phrase. So-called pro-lifers are really anti-abortion because they think women should be property and shouldn’t be allowed to have the independence to choose when to reproduce. They certainly don’t care about the fetus because it’s not like they are advocating for universal health care and stronger anti-pollution laws to ensure fetal health.

    • http://backroomcatholic.com/ EpicusMontaigne

      Alright, well, that’s not really a great generalization.

      Sure there are many Evangelical-types who think that way, but there are also people in the movement who see the baby killed as a baby, not a mass of cells, etc.

      You don’t always need to demonize your opponents. There is room for an actual discussion.

      • bamcintyre

        There was nothing in the comment that demonized the alleged pro-life crowd. It is simply the facts. If you correlate the anti-choice group with support for poor, hunger, education, and healthcare, they are also the ones that say they should help themselves and at the same time, the same cohort will complain loudly that those darn women that get pregnant should not get any support ’cause it’s all their fault, and we should not provide any contraceptive aids ’cause it’s immoral. Not a lot of logic in those combinations of attitudes.

      • DougI

        So all these “pro-life” Republicans that have passed hundreds of anti-abortion bills, where are all the pro-environment bills they have passed? Where was their demand for universal health care? The silence is deafening. Yeah, I happen to be demonizing them…probably because what I’m saying is the truth.

        Here in my town there are plenty of anti-choice terrorist groups, including Operation Rescue. You know, the “pro-life” doctor killing, clinic bombing organization that actually counter protested an anti-war rally.

      • C Peterson

        The problem is the lack of distinction between opposition to abortion, and opposition to legal choice.

        It is entirely reasonable to be opposed to abortion. And the ethical thing to do in that case is to try and convince others that abortion is wrong, to try and convince others that a fetus should be treated as a person with rights. The unethical thing to do is to seek to change the law to limit the ability of women to legally obtain abortions.

        There is room for discussion about the morality of abortion. There really is no room at all for discussion about the legality of the procedure, however- at least, not until those opposed to abortion can manage to change the ethical viewpoint of the broader society.

        • Agrajag

          Indeed. It’s also logical if you’re anti-abortion to do the things that demonstrably works, and not the things that suit your religious preference.

          Sex education, good and cheap access to contraceptives, higher acceptance of young sexuality, less taboos surrounding sex and less panicky parents all -demonstrably- works to significantly lower unwanted pregnancies, especially among the young. Yet somehow, the “pro-life” crowd are opposed to every one of these.

          How well do these policies work ? Teenage-pregnancy-rates are 1/5th in scandinavia, compared to in USA. USA has about one abortion pro 220 inhabitants, Norway has about one abortion pro 400 inhabitants.

        • cary_w

          I think you need to re-think your ethics a little. Being opposed to abortion does not necessarily mean you think a fetus should be treated as a person with rights, or that you spend your time convincing women abortion is wrong. Most abortions are a response to an unintended pregnancy, so if you oppose abortions, the ethical think to do is prevent unintended pregnancies.

          As someone who opposes abortions (of healthy fetuses, by healthy mothers) I resent having you put me into the same category as the “a fetus is a person” crowd! There are plenty of people like me out there who feel aborting a healthy fetus is morally wrong, but still don’t want to see laws restricting choice and believe that the best way to stop abortions is by improving health care for everyone, better education, rape prevention, better access to contraceptives, more support for women who choose adoption and more support for poor or underprivileged women who want to keep their unplanned babies. That is the ethical thing to do!

          • C Peterson

            Fine, there are other ways a person opposed to abortion can go about trying to convince others. You really missed my point, however, which is that those who direct their opposition to abortion towards making it illegal are acting unethically- so obviously, I’m not talking about you here.

            • Mike Opus

              Not at all, actually if the point can be made that a fetus should have certain human lives, among those, the right to life, then it is rather easy to posture that their killing should be iilegal.

              • C Peterson

                No, it isn’t. As a society we don’t (or shouldn’t) restrict rights in the absence of a moral consensus- and there isn’t anything close to a consensus view that a fetus is a person, or that a fetus has rights. Seeking to restrict rights in this case is unethical. If you believe that a fetus should be treated as a person, make that case. Change society’s opinion, and abortion will rightfully become a crime. But don’t subvert that process by trying to use politics to make an end run around well accepted human rights.

                • Mike Opus

                  What a terrible bastardization of ethics. According to your logic, it was unethical for the first anti-slavery activists to fight to eliminate slavery because it went against society’s opinion. And ironically, out of all the possible starting points of personhood, in the US there is more consensus about that point being conception than any other moment in development since this is something that most prolifers have in common while the prochoice crowd has a much more varied distribution of beliefs.

                • C Peterson

                  I don’t consider slavery to be fundamentally unethical. Slavery became illegal when most people saw it as unethical. If half of society considered slavery to be ethical, I would, indeed, consider an effort to make it illegal to be unethical.

                  There is no such thing as “more consensus” – you either have it or not. And in the U.S. there is certainly nothing approaching a consensus that personhood begins at conception.

                • Mike Opus

                  “I don’t consider slavery to be fundamentally unethical”

                  Well, at least you are consistent

          • Carmelita Spats

            Chemical contraception…You will get MUCH opposition from the anti-choice crowd who view the pill, the IUD, and all chemical contraception as abortifacients because they affect the lining of the uterus. You would also have to ban IVF. This is the position of the RCC and more Evangelicals are taking this line as they lose “person-hood” initiatives in states like Mississippi…

            1. The Pill Kills creeps…http://thepillkills.org/pillkills.php

            2. Anti-pill Evangelicals…http://www.albertmohler.com/2011/11/17/were-all-harry-blackmun-now-the-lessons-of-mississippi/

            Helping underprivileged people? How? More taxes? Who pays the COSTLY bill? Even Fundamngelicals in Texas don’t want to pay for their “pro-life” fantasy…a quarter of a billion dollars…They are back tracking which makes Baby Jesus cry…

            3. Pro Life Cost…http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/01/us/texas-may-restore-some-family-planning-budget-cuts.html?_r=0

            4. A nine-year-old should NEVER be legally obligated to undergo a pregnancy and a C-section…The ETHICAL stance is to terminate…Anything else is child abuse…even if a “healthy fetus” is aborted….http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1883598,00.html

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

        Obligatory: abortion does not kill babies. Abortion deals with zygotes, embryos, and fetuses that are not viable on their own.

        And there is another fairly strong correlation right now: anti-abortion views combined with anti-contraception views. This makes no sense, since the best way to decrease the number of abortions is to ensure that there are as few unwanted pregnancies as possible. For the set of people that are both anti-abortion and anti-contraception, we can say that they either don’t actually care about decreasing the number of abortions and instead care about controlling people or they are incredibly poorly informed or haven’t considered the contradiction in what they are saying.

        • Pulse

          For the set of people that are both anti-abortion and anti-contraception, we can say that they either don’t actually care about decreasing the number of abortions and instead care about controlling people or they are incredibly poorly informed or haven’t considered the contradiction in what they are saying.

          Or they honestly believe that the best thing for society is for women to crank out as many babies as possible.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

            Doesn’t that fall under “controlling people” ?

            • Pulse

              I’m going to play Devil’s Advocate here and argue from an anti-abortion, anti-contraception perspective, a view I don’t actually hold.

              “Abortion and contraception are immoral, as immoral as murder. Murder is illegal, and abortion and contraception should also be illegal. Passing laws against abortion and contraception is ‘controlling people’ only in the same sense that passing laws against murder is ‘controlling people,’ in that it restricts an immoral activity that should not be allowed.

              “I do not wish to control sexual activity. People may have sex as much as they want. Good for them. They simply must accept the reality and the responsibility that if a pregnancy occurs, it should be followed to term. If people behave as is wholly natural, the inevitable result will be a greater number of babies being born, which I believe is a good thing.”

              I believe that just about sums up the alternative perspective I proposed.

              • Ibis3

                You shouldn’t be playing Devil’s Advocate in a case where

                a) lives of real people are at stake (i.e. this is not a mere intellectual masturbatory exercise)

                b) the position you’re advocating amounts to an advocation of slavery (i.e. that pregnant women automatically lose their autonomy and become incubation machines)

                c) the Devil has enough sincere advocates of his own; we don’t need poseurs to join them

                If you’re going to advocate for anyone, advocate for the girls and women who don’t have the freedom to exercise their right to security of person.

                • Pulse

                  Geez, you don’t need to jump down my throat. Michael presented a false dichotomy, I pointed out an alternative, he claimed my alternative fell under one of his two forks, and I defended my position. That’s all. There’s no reason to insinuate that I was guilty of some horrible misdeed.

              • cary_w

                So basically they believe no one should have sex unless they want to make a baby. It’s essentially the same argument they use against homosexuals. Sex for pleasure instead of baby making is immoral, since homosexual sex can’t make babies, it’s immoral. Truthfully, I don’t think these people approve of infertile heterosexual couples and post-menopausal women havering sex either. Sex is for making babies, the “pleasure” part of it is sinful.

                • Pulse

                  At no point did my fictional perspective holder make any of those claims.

        • http://backroomcatholic.com/ EpicusMontaigne

          How can you look at the Gosnell case and say abortion does not kill babies? I didn’t want to turn this into a pro-life pitch, but seriously? Late-term abortion kills babies.

          Please stop repeating talking points from the 60′s.

          Also, anti-abortion and anti-contraception views do make sense, if you think that you should have sex when you’re prepared to have babies.

          • DougI

            In Gosnell’s case the babies were born then killed so it wasn’t an abortion. But if you think it’s an abortion then if I die in a car wreck then I guess I also died from a late term abortion.

            • http://backroomcatholic.com/ EpicusMontaigne

              Some were. But some babies were killed in utero, moments from being born. It was past the 24-week old limit.

              Other babies were killed in utero at 20 weeks. Looking very much the same as babies, and could have survived had they been born and cared for.

              • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

                Looking very much the same as babies

                That is irrelevant.

                [Fetuses terminated at 20 weeks] could have survived had they been born and cared for.

                You are wrong. Fetal viability at 20 weeks is currently 0%, with the shortest recorded pregnancy leading to a healthy neonate having been 21 weeks and change (reference http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Elgin_Gill#Notable_preterm_births ). Viability rises steeply thereafter, to 10% at 22 weeks and ~30% at 23 weeks.

                And no, fetuses terminated at 20 weeks are not “killed in utero”, nor are they babies.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

            Gosnell incredibly evilly exploited women who were unable to get the healthcare they needed in a timely fashion. If those women had been able to get the health care they needed rapidly in a clean clinic, they would never have gone to Gosnell. And that’s another reason why abortion must be legal and readily available – the alternative is things like the Gosnell case happening.

            And it happens that <0.1% of abortions in the United States occur after 24 weeks, where a normal fetus would have a 50% chance of survival with the best that NICU can do. And almost all of those are done for medical reasons, where the fetus concerned is not viable for one reason or another. Cases like Gosnell are mercifully rare. Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late_termination_of_pregnancy#Incidence

            Also, anti-abortion and anti-contraception views do make sense, if you think that you should have sex when you’re prepared to have babies.

            In which case, you don’t actually care about preventing abortion. You care about controlling people having sex. Which is not ethical nor has it ever been particular successful.

            • http://backroomcatholic.com/ EpicusMontaigne

              Again, not all morals should be or can be legislated, nor was that what I was saying.

              • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

                Fair point, but that still does not make anyone who says “abortion is murder” and “contraception is bad” simultaneously anything close to consistent.

          • Mariève Lapierre

            “anti-abortion and anti-contraception views do make sense, if you think that you should have sex when you’re prepared to have babies.”

            Are you saying anti-abortion and anti-contraception people should be lobbying for extremely restrictive laws to regulate sexual intercourse? Maybe outlaw any kind of sex until an individual submits to a series of tests that proves their competence and willingness to have offspring?

            • http://backroomcatholic.com/ EpicusMontaigne

              I said nothing about laws. Not all morals need to be, or can feasibly be, legislated.

              That doesn’t mean the morals should carry no weight with people on a personal level.

            • Anna

              It’s also pretty scary that fundamentalists of this type are willing to condemn married couples simply because they don’t want to have children. No contraception and no abortion means that people are forced to go through pregnancies and raise children that they don’t want to have.

          • Carmelita Spats

            So you are going to end up with 40-year-old male virgins? ROFLMAO! I had an abortion at age 40 after my husband’s vasectomy of EIGHT years failed. I wasn’t “prepared to have babies” at age 40, married, with a stable job, double incomes…OUR choice. F.U.

  • Jason Sullivan

    Gallup poll should ask how many so called “Pro-Lifers” are Pro-Death Penalty.

    • randall.morrison90

      Funny how atheists are always ready to flush the unborn viable healthy fetus down the toilet, or put it in the incinerator, but get all concerned about convicted killers.

      • C Peterson

        Convicted killers are people. And convicted doesn’t guarantee guilt- there are many examples of false convictions.

        On the other hand, it requires quite a contortion of reason to consider a fetus- something without experience, without memory, without self-awareness- to rise to the level of “person”.

        And you need not be an atheist to have that view.

        • Mike Opus

          You have to recognize that your distinctions are completely subjective. There are actually more significant differences between a newborn baby and a 50 year old man than a newborn and a 6 month old fetus.

          • Ibis3

            There’s only one distinction that counts: a foetus is using a person’s body to sustain itself, a 50 year old man is not. (But here’s another for you: a 6mo. foetus is unconscious and has never been conscious–for all intents and purposes in brain-death stasis.)

            • Mike Opus

              Once again, a subjective distinction, just as subjective as any other distinction that you can make.

          • C Peterson

            You can construct any sort of artificial distinctions you like. It remains virtually certain that a 6 month old fetus has no feelings, no experience, no self awareness. It is much less of a “being” than the cow that was killed for your dinner.

            You may be right in your comparison. Personally, I don’t think a newborn is a person. I don’t think it matters if one dies, except to its parents. I don’t think that killing a newborn is an immoral act, except to the extent it injures those who may be invested in that newborn, or love it.

      • Sweetredtele

        20-50% of pregnancies miscarry. God is busy doing that at the same time he is killing poor children by starving them to death or inflicting a fatal disease or both. Moved up from killing the first born or drowning the innocent. He also blesses those who dash the infants of their enemies against the rocks.

        God seems to hate children, babies, zygotes and fetuses.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

        Once again, no one is proposing “flushing the unborn viable healthy fetus”. If there is any significant chance of viability as a healthy neonate, the standard of care is delivery, not abortion.

        And the point of the example here is to illustrate the contradiction in saying “I’m pro-life” and “kill all these people!”.

      • Jason Sullivan

        Just saying if your pro life you should be pro life across the board.

    • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

      Neglecting those uncertain on one or the other, according to the GSS-2012, roughly 39% of the US oppose legality of “for any reason” abortion (variable ABANY) while also supporting the death penalty; 16% oppose the death penalty while supporting abortion; 27% support both; 18% oppose both.

      To no surprise, those supporting the death penalty but not abortion tend Republican, conservative, and self-identifying as “strongly religious” (though those opposed to both also tend strongly religious).

    • http://abb3w.livejournal.com/ abb3w

      Neglecting those uncertain on one or the other, according to the GSS-2012, roughly 39% of the US oppose legality of “for any reason” abortion (variable ABANY) while also supporting the death penalty; 16% oppose the death penalty while supporting abortion; 27% support both; 18% oppose both.

      To no surprise, those supporting the death penalty but not abortion tend Republican, conservative, and self-identifying as “strongly religious” (though those opposed to both also tend strongly religious).

  • Emma

    I suspect many in the Catholic church hierarchy are upset that 38% of Catholics are ‘pro-choice’ (and another 8% didn’t answer) given the Church’s emphasis on ‘pro-life’ for the last few decades.

    • Pulse

      I’m trying to imagine how the amorphous conglomerate of “nones” managed to achieve greater unity on this particular issue than the most organized religion on the planet.

      Edit: I also want to see this headline: “Only 54% of Catholics Agree with the Pope”

    • Agrajag

      Catholics are notorious for staying in the church as a matter of practicality, while ignoring everything the church actually teaches. More than 80% of catholic women use contraception. More than 90% of catholic couples have sex before marriage. The bad news is, the catholic church is positively medieval. The good news is, most people who call themselves catholic, do not actually listen to what the church teach all that much.

  • Mountain Dog

    I find it shocking that there is only a 1% delta among women.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregm766 Gregory Marshall

    And in other news, water is wet.

  • Space Cadet

    The 18-29 group is interesting. Only a difference of 9 points despite what we always hear about the younger generation(s) being so progressive, at least in relation to the older generation(s). Looks to me like we still have a long, long way to go.

    It would be interesting to see a further breakdown of that group, such as 18-29 Yr Old Nones, 18-29 Yr Old Catholics, etc.

    • Anna

      There has been a lot of focus recently on the “new” evangelicals who are supposedly so much more progressive than the older generation. That may be true when it comes to LGBT issues, but the evangelical focus on abortion appears to be as strong as ever. Children who grow up in these churches are exposed to anti-abortion propaganda from the time they are very young. Even the ones who are moving away from the hysterical rhetoric still seem to be identifying as pro-life. I’d be curious to know if there are any younger evangelicals who are taking a stand in favor of reproductive rights.

  • Earl G.

    That’s an awful lot of pro-choice Republicans. Why don’t we hear them speak up?

    • cary_w

      That’s a damn good question! I think they are scared, they know it goes against their friend’s, their church’s or their husband’s views, so they are willing to say it on an anonymous poll, but not out loud.

  • Pulse

    I read a very interesting debate between Richard Carrier and Jennifer Roth on whether there could be a secular argument against abortion. My takeaway from the debate was that when you remove religion from the equation, the remaining secular arguments against abortion are very weak. This could very well explain the poll numbers.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

      There are good arguments for reducing the rate of abortions by increasing contraceptive use. There are no good arguments for restricting anyone who wants/needs an abortion from getting one.

  • Sarah

    I’m atheist, female and reluctantly pro-choice. I don’t think the fact that some people are so poor they have to kill their own offspring in the womb is anything worth celebrating. In a decent society, children would be seen as a precious resource and mothers would get enough support (finacial, emotional, medical) that they didn’t have to resort to abortion. Also, we’d have decent sex education and easy access to condoms so that few people would get pregnant by accident. And adoption would be easier and the formalities could begin while the child was still growing in the womb.

    I hate the thought of abortion, but illegal backstreet abortions that killed the mothers as well would be even worse, and that’s why I’m reluctantly pro-choice. Still, in an ideal world there’d be no abortion.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

      it’s a fetus, always remember that. most women who choose to have an abortion catch it in the first trimester, effectively removing a clump of cells, not killing a baby. a baby is formed and can live on its own, fetuses not so much.

      abortion is already a difficult enough choice to have to make and as you point out, we don’t live in that feminist/medical/educational paradise where abortion is very rare b/c everyone always has everything they need to avoid it. plus: condoms break, sometimes women forget to take the pill, and rape is real. no one should be denied an essential medical procedure just because some find it ‘icky.’

      Plan B and emergency contraception make terminating a pregnancy less ‘icky,’ too. thank you, Science.

      • Cortex_Returns

        Emergency contraception does not terminate a pregnancy. It prevents ovulation.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

          i know. it’s just extra typing to say “terminating and reducing risk of pregnancy”

          • Cortex_Returns

            First, Plan B is a form of emergency contraception, so in either case, no pregnancy is being terminated in anything other than a teleological sense.

            Second, brevity is no excuse for knowingly spreading the very falsehoods that contribute to harmful policy decisions.

    • Ibis3

      That’s like saying in an ideal world there’d be no contraception. Well sure, it would be nice if we could will ourselves to be pregnant only when we want children, or if sex and procreation were completely unrelated to each other, but we don’t live in that fantasy. Yes, children and their parents would be cared for in a decent society, but even then, not everyone wants children, and most people who do, like to plan to have their children so they come at the best time for the family. That’s why we have birth control, including abortion. Abortion is a solution, not a problem.

      What’s the difference between aborting the reproduction process with a condom or with levonogestrel or with mifepristone or with a surgical procedure? They are all morally equivalent (i.e. no big deal, and none of our business).

      There’s no such thing as “offspring in the womb”. Offspring = born, not, in the midst of being constructed.

      • cary_w

        Abortion is a solution when someone’s life or health is at stake, but wouldn’t you rather see “better contraceptives” as the solution to unwanted pregnancies?

        • Ibis3

          The more options, the better. But I don’t see much difference between one option and another (aside from what is best for an individual woman in her own circumstances, but that’s her own business). I think that all birth control–contraception, abortion, voluntary
          sterilisation–ought to be free and easily accessible for everyone, without stigma.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

      Please do not use condoms as your example of contraception. While they are far better than nothing and (along with other barrier methods) are essential for reducing STI rates, they are very far – by a factor of 100 or so – from the most effective contraceptives available. Those would be implants and IUDs (both hormonal and non-hormonal), and potentially something like Vasalgel if the initial clinical trials are accurate.

      And even if contraceptives were far more effective than they are now and every pregnancy was wanted, abortion would still be necessary and a good thing – albeit at a far lower rate than it is now.

      • Ibis3

        I wasn’t talking about the difference between these methods in terms of effectiveness (or cost, or accessibility, or risk of side effects, or timing, or usefulness in preventing STIs, or any number of other things), but the difference in moral terms. For some reason, we (i.e. those who aren’t the pope) think nothing of letting people throw their sperm in the garbage with their used condom, but when a woman wants to eject a fertilised egg from her body, suddenly we have to bring out the funeral dirges and clutching pearls. It’s ridiculous.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-W-Busch/578120211 Michael W Busch

          True. And what you said above was entirely reasonable. My comment was directed at Sarah’s.

    • cary_w

      Thank you, Sarah, I totally agree with you. (Except I would say “contraceptives” instead of just “condoms”) The whole idea of abortions is a horrible and barbaric. Wouldn’t it be great to live in a perfect world where there would be no need for them? But unfortunately we don’t, pregnancies become life-threatening, women get raped, condoms fail, shit happens and there has to be a back up plan when it does. As distasteful as an abortion may be, the alternative can be much worse; women forced to continue a pregnancy against her will, dying in childbirth, unwanted children, back alley abortions, families trapped in poverty and so on. But just because we know we will never achieve “no need for abortions” doesn’t mean it’s not a worthy goal to strive for.

      • Ibis3

        Why are you stigmatising and shaming women who have abortions as doing something “horrible” and “barbaric” and “distasteful”? I think you are being horrible, barbaric, and distasteful for your judgemental attitude.

        If you don’t want one, or if you have one you want to shame yourself, fine, but don’t unleash that on everyone else.

        Abortion is no more horrible and barbaric than menstruating is.

        • Liz brooks

          And Ted Bundy believed that killing a human was not any more horrible or barbaric than killing a pig. You are completely allowed to hold that opinion, but you cant be so obtuse that you think your opinion is any more valid than someone elses.

        • cary_w

          Menstruating is natural, miscarriages are natural, sucking a potential human life out of the womb because you can’t be bothered to care for your own child is barbaric.

          Feel free to hate me for my opinion, but know that I respect YOUR opinion that an abortion is just one of many forms of acceptable birth control and I will stand by you and the whole pro-choice crowd to fight for your right to a safe, legal abortion for whatever reason you want, regardless of how selfish or completely valid I think it is.

          Why would I do this?

          1. I respect that people have different opinions. There is no possible way we will all agree on which abortions are OK and which are not, so we have to allow some that might seem distasteful to accommodate different opinions.

          2. The alternative is much, much worse. Laws to restrict abortions don’t stop abortions from happening, they just lead to even more horrifying situations. Death, forceing women to have the child of a rapist, accusing innocent men of rape, politicians making health care decisions for you, etc. etc…

          3. Some pregnancies end very badly. Doctors need to be able to step in and do whatever is necessary to save a women’s life or health when things go bad without worrying about ridiculous laws. Only the pregnant women should ever decide how much she should risk her own life for her baby. No one should ever have to prove a miscarriage is natural.

          Yeah, I’ll shame women for using abortions as birth control when there are so many ways to prevent the pregnancy to begin with and so many childless people out there who are desperate to have a child.

      • Anna

        Out of curiosity, what is your background re: abortion? Were you taught to be against it when you were young?

        I’m honestly confused how an early termination of a pregnancy (which is when most abortions happen) could be described as “horrible and barbaric.” Unpleasant, maybe, but those other words strike me as far too extreme and emotional.

        Abortion is something that has been with us since antiquity. Safe, surgical abortions are much newer, of course, but women have always terminated unwanted pregnancies, or tried to. I don’t think there’s anything inherently awful about that.

  • Jon

    I find it extremely surprising that “Republican” and “Conservative” outrank “Catholic”, “Christian” etc in terms of pro-life views.

    I was under the impression that pro-life views usually follow from religious doctrine. Could this be Republicans kowtowing to the party line?

    • Anna

      It’s probably because all the anti-abortion voters flock to the Republicans. But of course not all religious people are against abortion. Millions of Catholics and Christians have no problem voting for pro-choice candidates, and others who may be personally anti-abortion have not chosen this issue as their hill to die on, whereas many of the hardcore religious extremists refuse to even consider voting for someone who doesn’t promise to make abortion illegal.

    • Pulse

      Could this be Republicans kowtowing to the party line?

      Quite likely. It’s also pretty well established that some people tend to lie (even on anonymous polls) to reflect what they think others expect them to do rather than what they actually do. I bet at least some of those pro-life Republicans were voting based on their party affiliation rather than their own beliefs.

  • Anna

    Well, it’s definitely not surprising. In the absence of hardcore religious indoctrination, is there any reason to believe that people would automatically start foaming at the mouth about abortion?

    I can’t even remember when I first heard about abortion, but I knew what it was by the time I saw the movie Parenthood at age 12. I don’t remember feeling anything about it one way or the other. I just can’t imagine anyone spontaneously developing extreme anti-abortion sentiments if they haven’t been exposed to repeated indoctrination and propaganda.

  • Corby Ziesman

    Regarding “And the list gets scarier the lower you go…”, I don’t think “Nonwhite” is scary.

    • Anna

      It’s also a rather confusing category. “Nonwhite” encompasses so many different groups. It doesn’t make any sense to lump African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, and Asians together. I’d wager that some of those groups are much less anti-abortion than others.

  • Andrew T.

    I do know that when I lost my religious belief years and years ago, any lick of sympathy for the anti-legal-abortion movement was the first delusion to fall.


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